The Albanese Labor Government is delivering on its election commitment to better assist and support carers, working to raise awareness of Carer Gateway – a free support program for the 2.65 million people in Australia who have caring responsibilities.
The Government will today launch a national advertising campaign designed to see more carers reach out and get help when they need it.
There are 2.65 million unpaid carers in Australia – that’s 1 in 9 people. The campaign kicks off the 30th anniversary of National Carers Week (16-22 October), which celebrates the vital contribution carers make to our nation.
The Carer Gateway campaign is a $15 million investment. With the tag line, ‘Help for those who might never ask’, the campaign acknowledges that many people don’t always identify as a carer, and for those who do they may not always feel like they can reach out for the support they need.
The campaign will see national advertising from today through to October next year across television, digital, social media, radio, as well as in GP surgeries.
It will target mainstream, First Nations, LGBTIQA+ and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) carers and has been translated into Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Arabic, Greek, Italian, Croatian, Turkish and 15 First Nations languages.
Despite the large number of carers in Australia, we know only one in five carers have heard of Carer Gateway. With carers more than twice as likely as other Australians to have low levels of wellbeing, now is the time to boost awareness and support for carers.
Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said many carers did not know what support was available to help them personally – or even recognise themselves as carers – instead focusing on services for their family member or friend.
“We know that carers are dedicated and selfless and National Carers Week is the perfect time to acknowledge the efforts of carers and to remind carers of the importance of looking after their own wellbeing,” Minister Rishworth said.
“Each of us may become a carer at any point in our lives. Carer Gateway is a critical early-intervention service to support people before they reach crisis point.
“The Albanese Labor Government is committed to leaving no one behind and holding no one back – and, importantly, this includes carers.”
Carers provide 2.2 billion hours of care that would cost $77.9 billion if provided formally by paid care workers, according to Deloitte.
Minister Rishworth said the new campaign will feature real stories from everyday carers, including the struggles and sacrifices they experience day-in, day-out.
“It is an authentic account of caring responsibilities and features real life carers. Caring for others can be rewarding but does come with challenges and the campaign encourages carers to put their hand up and reach out for support.”
The Carer Gateway aims to make Australian Government carer supports and services easier to navigate and more accessible, regardless of where carers live.
The launch of the campaign represents one of the first steps towards delivering a National Carers Strategy, a review of the Carer Recognition Act 2010 and better coordination of carer policy across government – all of which were election commitments.
Carers Australia CEO Alison Brook said carers experience higher levels of social isolation and financial stress, as well as a lack of time for self-care.
The 2022 Carer Wellbeing Survey by Carers Australia found almost a third of carers reported having no access to informal support and about half could organise help with difficulty.
“Carers face a range of complex challenges. The 2022 Carer Wellbeing Survey revealed that accessing formal and informal support is associated with a higher wellbeing,” Ms Brook said.
“Carers can find it difficult to identify where they can access help and this campaign is a really important step to raise awareness of the issues faced by carers and to increase assistance.”
Carers can call Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737 to register with a local service provider, or visit CarerGateway.gov.au for online support and to find out more information.